Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Heads will (likely) roll scandal - still further update

From the BruinThe Los Angeles Superior Court suspended former UCLA obstetrician-gynecologist James Heaps’ medical license in a court hearing July 30.

The interim suspension against Heaps will last for the duration of the criminal sexual assault case against him.
Heaps faces two counts of sexual battery and one count of sexual exploitation by a physician in a criminal case involving two former patients Heaps treated in 2017 and 2018. At least 10 civil suits accusing Heaps of sexual assault have been filed since the criminal suit, three of which were filed this week, said Darren Kavinoky, an attorney for several alleged victims involved in the civil suits. Heaps denies all charges.
Deputy Attorney General Brian Roberts filed the request to suspend Heaps’ medical license on behalf of the Medical Board of California in late June during the first hearing for the sexual battery allegations against Heaps.
“(The) Defendant, if allowed to act as a physician and surgeon without restriction during the pendency of these proceedings, poses a potential danger to the public, ” Roberts wrote on behalf of the board in the request dated June 25.
The request comes over a year after the UCLA Title IX investigation into Heaps’ practice concluded Heaps violated university policies on sexual violence and harassment by retaliating against a person involved in the investigation.
The investigation also shows that allegations against Heaps stretch back to 2014, but the university deferred the decision on whether Heaps sexually harassed or abused a patient to its Medical Staff. The university later filed a formal complaint with the Medical Board of California.
Tracy Green, an attorney for Heaps, said since Heaps has retired, he does not actively practice medicine anymore, so the license suspension is redundant. However, Green said given the ongoing litigation surrounding Heaps, she does not want him to see any patients for now...

Telescope - The View from Afar - Part 5

Ige calls off emergency order and extends construction deadline

Honolulu Star-Advertiser, Timothy Hurley, 7-31-19
via UC Daily News Clips

Gov. David Ige on Tuesday rescinded the emergency proclamation for Mauna Kea, saying there are no immediate plans to move Thirty Meter Telescope construction equipment up the mountain due to approaching Hurricanes Flossie and Erick.

“The intention would be to keep law enforcement there just in order to keep people safe,” Ige said during a news conference at his Capitol office in Honolulu. “But obviously, we are monitoring the approach of the storm and will be taking appropriate action.”

Ige also announced that his administration is extending the deadline for TMT construction to start for two years — until Sept. 26, 2021. Suzanne Case, head of the Department of Land and Natural Resources, said permit applicant University of Hawaii at Hilo requested the deadline extension Tuesday morning on behalf of TMT International Observatory. Case said she granted the extension because the project has made a good-faith effort to start construction but has been foiled by protesters who have blocked attempts to move equipment to the telescope site near the summit of Hawaii’s tallest mountain.

Protest leader Kaho‘okahi Kanuha described the administration’s moves as a victory, saying he and others have argued from the beginning that the emergency proclamation was unnecessary. Now, he said, with the proclamation rescinded, the state cannot dip into extra resources for law enforcement and cannot bypass environmental laws to create new roads, an action the state has been rumored to be looking into.

As for the deadline extension, Kanuha said, “They had a timeline to get construction started by Sept. 26, and because of our efforts, because of our unity, because of our organization and because of our growing numbers, we have defeated that timeline, and they are now forced to reassess that. They have to extend it two years, so again, we take that as a small victory.”

TMT spokesman Scott Ishikawa said the two-year extension was requested “out of an abundance of caution because the project has been challenged on so many things.”

“We continue to support the ongoing conversations around those issues that are larger than TMT and Maunakea. At the same time, it is important for us to get started as soon as possible,” he said in a statement.

The protesters have been blocking Mauna Kea Access Road since July 15 in a move to prevent construction of the $1.4 billion Thirty Meter Telescope or, as they put it, the desecration of one of Hawaii’s most sacred places. Ige issued the TMT emergency proclamation July 17 with the aim of giving law enforcement more flexibility and to allow for the closure of vast areas of the mountain in preparation for the movement of heavy equipment. The proclamation was set to expire Friday.

In a statement Tuesday, UH President David Lassner said the previous deadline wasn’t helpful in trying to resolve the standoff, and the extension is among several new developments “moving us in a peaceful direction that is positive for all the people of Hawaii.”

“Although the removal of this deadline gives us more time to work together toward peaceful resolution, I acknowledge that some members of our community will be upset,” Lassner said.

Stanley H. Roehrig, a Hilo lawyer who represents Hawaii island on the Board of Land and Natural Resources, said Tuesday that he wants more discussion about the time extension Case approved.

“Based on the complexity of the ongoing impasse on Mauna Kea, I believe at the appropriate time for board input, I would like to give my personal input on this matter because it goes to the very fabric of Big Island community and, in particular, my friends and neighbors in the Keaukaha-Panaewa community,” he said. “I think we can also benefit from input from other board members as well who have a diverse background in serious matters of this nature.”

Roehrig, who voted against the conservation district use permit for TMT when it came before the Land Board, would not say whether he believes the time extension for construction to begin should have come before the board. Meanwhile a panel of three state judges heard arguments Tuesday on a motion by the state to dismiss a suit by Big Island kumu hula Paul Neves seeking to overturn the TMT emergency proclamation. State attorneys were trying to dismiss the case, in light of the governor’s action Tuesday, and to strike Ige as a witness in case there is a hearing for a preliminary injunction.

In their ruling, the judges decided not to dismiss the case because Ige can easily declare another emergency proclamation “with the stroke of a pen.” Nevertheless, they canceled Thursday’s hearing on Neves’ preliminary injunction request. 

Circuit Judge Gary W.B. Chang explained the court’s ruling:

“It is this court’s determination that holding a hearing on the preliminary injunction application will involve testimony, some of it will be extremely emotional. The court is concerned that such testimony could unnecessarily aggravate the parties and destroy any progress that has been made thus far.”

At his news conference, Ige said that while he is considering issuing a new emergency proclamation because of the hurricanes, he has no plans to reinstate the TMT emergency proclamation after the storms unless requested by Hawaii County.

“I want to assure everyone that we are committed,” Ige said. “Our law enforcement officers will remain at the site to ensure the safety of all those involved.”

On the mountain, Kanuha said the protesters are prepared to evacuate their Puu Huluhulu garrison if the hurricanes become too much of a threat. Ige said he doesn’t anticipate any construction activities in the next few days because of the threat of the hurricanes.

“For the safety of all involved, we wouldn’t want to escalate activities,” he said.

Ige said he and Hawaii island Mayor Harry Kim, his chief Mauna Kea negotiator, are in constant contact and committed to finding a peaceful solution to move the project forward.

Union Settlement News

UC, UPTE reach tentative agreement on new five-year contracts

Tuesday, July 30, 2019, UC Press Room

The University of California today (July 30) announced tentative five-year agreements with the University Professional and Technical Employees (UPTE) union for UC’s approximately 13,000 health care, research and technical professionals.

“We are very pleased to have reached these agreements with UPTE, giving our employees the competitive pay and excellent benefits they so deserve,” said Peter Chester, the university’s executive director of labor relations. “These employees make significant contributions to UC’s mission and we deeply appreciate their hard work and dedication.”

UPTE-represented employees will vote in the next few weeks to ratify the contracts, which include the following highlights:

-Compensation: Across-the-board increases of 20 percent for health care professionals and 22 percent for research and technical professionals over five years, plus performance-based step increases and equity increases as appropriate.
-Health benefits: The same rates as other employees, plus a $25 cap on monthly premium increases on UC’s most popular HMO plans.
-Retirement benefits: New employees will receive the same pension benefits as current UPTE-represented employees until April 2021, after which time either side may reopen the issue. This is similar to UC’s 2018 agreement with the California Nurses Association.

The two contracts would be effective until fall 2024.


Note: Five-year duration agreements are on the long side compared with typical union contracts.

Let there be light - and appropriate royalties

From Reuters: Five major retailers, including Inc and Walmart Inc, were sued on Tuesday by the University of California over what it called the “existential threat” when foreign manufacturers infringe schools’ patents. Amazon, Walmart, Target Corp, Ikea AB and Bed Bath & Beyond Inc were accused of infringing four patents related to “filament” LED light bulbs, which use 90% less energy and last many years longer than traditional light bulbs.

These patents relate to what the university called the “reinvention of the light bulb” by researchers at the University of California, Santa Barbara led by professor Shuji Nakamura, who won the 2014 Nobel prize for physics.

The university is seeking unspecified damages, including royalties, in lawsuits filed with the U.S. District Court in Los Angeles, and wants the retailers to enter license agreements.

...Filament LED light bulbs are sometimes called “Edison” or “vintage” bulbs because they resemble light bulbs created by Thomas Edison that have glowing filaments visible inside.

They became widely available only in the last five years in the United States, where sales in 2019 are expected to top $1 billion, according to court papers...

Full story at:

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Telescope - The View from Afar - Part 4

Project has legal right to start, TMT official says

Honolulu Star-Advertiser, Timothy Hurley, 7-30-19,
via UC Daily News Clips

A top official with the Thirty Meter Telescope said Monday that state officials need to find a way to allow construction of the next-generation telescope on Mauna Kea — and soon.

“I don’t have a firm deadline or date by which this must happen, but obviously, we’ve been through a 10-year process. We have every legal right to proceed. And so we need to get started and soon,” said Gordon Squires, TMT vice president for external affairs. Squires said the Mauna Kea summit, with its stable atmosphere above 40% of Earth’s atmosphere, remains the preferred site for the telescope expected to be among the most powerful in the world when it achieves first light in 10 years.

In an interview with the Honolulu Star-Advertiser, Squires didn’t have any criticism of Gov. David Ige or government officials for the way they’ve handled the ongoing conflict on the mountain. He called it a complex problem that became much more complicated than anticipated. Squires said TMT officials respect the project’s opponents and are pleased the standoff has remained peaceful. He added that TMT was not privy to any of the security or enforcement planning in regard to the construction convoy. As for the project, TMT officials have done everything the state has required of them over the last 10 years, he said.

“There have been a lot of steps along the way that we’ve been asked to comply with. We have and we continue to do so. And we always operated under the assumption that if we do that, than we’ll be able to construct TMT. So that is still our assumption,” he said.

Squires said the TMT board of governors has never discussed pursuing any legal recourse should the project ultimately be blocked in Hawaii. Despite everything that has occurred in the last couple of weeks, Squires said he remains optimistic TMT can still happen here. The $1.4 billion-plus project is supported by the vast majority of Hawaii residents, he said, but it has been swept up in larger issues related to such things as Hawaiian sovereignty and past injustices. He said he’s hoping the impasse will spark a conversation about these problems.

“We’re just hoping some good can come out of this,” he said. “If TMT goes away, if TMT isn’t built in Hawaii, none of those other issues gets addressed.”

Squires said he was encouraged when Hawaii County Mayor Harry Kim said he was looking to come up with a solution as soon as possible.

“So are we,” he said. “I’m an optimist by nature. I believe that a good set of people will come with good intentions for a good result.”

Despite another plea from the opponents at the base of Mauna Kea on Monday, urging the TMT to take its project to its Canary Islands backup site, Squires said TMT International Observatory still doesn’t have all the government approvals it needs to start construction on La Palma island.

 “It’s not like we could today say Plan B is available to us. Work still needs to be completed to get all the necessary legal and regulatory requirements in place,” he said.

Reports in Spanish and Canary Island newspapers indicate that TMT is getting closer in the approval process, but Squires said he couldn’t say exactly when permission will be granted.

“Like in Hawaii, the time frame has been difficult to determine,” he said. “We never thought in Hawaii it would be a 10-year process, but here we are.”

He did note there is no native population objecting to the proposed construction in the Canary Islands. Squires said TMT should be welcomed with open arms in Hawaii since astronomy’s Mauna Kea footprint will be significantly reduced with the planned decommissioning of five observatories.

What’s more, he said, some $450 million has been spent on the project so far, with a significant part of that going to Hawaii, including more than $5 million to educational programs, plus a commitment of $1 million a year for the 50-year life of the telescope.

Requiem for Requa?

Plaintiff Joe Requa
We have been following the Requa case from time to time. Most recently in early June, we noted the case was advancing in court.* The case involves certain Lawrence Livermore National Lab (LLNL) workers who didn't get what they thought were promised retiree health care when the lab went to a new management system. Indirectly, the case might have challenged the official position of UC that retiree health care is just a nice thing the university provides voluntarily, but that it is not a legal obligation (unlike the pension plan).

We now have word that the case has been settled before trial. However, any settlement has to be approved by the Regents. And the Regents don't meet again until September. So, whatever may be in the settlement won't be known until then.

One suspects, however, that such an out-of-court settlement involves paying off the plaintiffs. There may be no resolution of the issue as to whether retiree health is a legal obligation.

Below are some document with regard to the settlement:

Click on the images above to enlarge

Monday, July 29, 2019

AEA Expulsion Procedures

After a sexual harassment scandal involving a Harvard faculty member who was due to become an officer of the American Economic Association (AEA), the AEA is proposing procedures in its bylaws for expelling members and officers:

Article I. Section 5.

All members must abide by the Association’s Code of Professional Conduct, Policy on Harassment and Discrimination, and its Conflict of Interest Policy. If the Board of Trustees considers in its reasonable opinion that any member has breached the Association’s Code of Professional Conduct, Policy on Harassment and Discrimination, or its Conflict of Interest Policy, then it may decide by a two-thirds majority vote to either sanction the member or terminate that individual’s membership. The member will be given an opportunity to put his or her case to the Board of Trustees prior to the vote being held.
Rationale: In light of the recent Code of Professional Conduct and related Policy on Harassment and Discrimination adopted by the AEA, the Executive Committee suggests adding this provision to the bylaws so that a member who violates the Code or the Conflict of Interest Policy may be sanctioned or membership may be terminated as voted by a two-thirds majority vote of the Board of Trustees. For purposes of these amendments, the voting members of the Executive Committee serve as the Association’s Board of Trustees. 

Article IV. Removal of Officers

Section 1. Elected and appointed officers may be removed from office before the end of their regular term by a two-thirds majority vote of the Board of Trustees in the event that an officer is found, in the reasonable opinion of the Board of Trustees, to:

• have failed to abide by the Association’s Code of Professional Conduct, Policy on Harassment and Discrimination, or its Conflict of Interest Policy;
• be derelict in his or her duties;
• be under investigation by his or her employer or any third party (including governmental bodies), the effect of which has, or is likely to have, a negative impact on the Association’s reputation; or
• have conducted themselves in a way that has, or is likely to have, a negative impact on the Association’s reputation.

For avoidance of doubt, this removal power applies to both sitting officers and individuals who have been elected or appointed officers prior to assuming their positions.

Section 2. Prior to a vote for removal of an officer the President will promptly inform the officer in writing of the reasons for the vote and may give the officer an opportunity to remedy the situation if the Board of Trustees considers it reasonable.

The officer will be given an opportunity to put his or her case to the Board of Trustees prior to the vote being held. For the avoidance of doubt, an officer who is a member of the Board of Trustees and the subject of the vote is entitled to participate in the vote.
Rationale: The present bylaws do not allow for removal of an officer. The suggested addition of Article IV allows the removal of an officer by a two-thirds majority vote of the Board of Trustees when conditions warranting such an action arise during or prior to the start of the officer’s term. For purposes of these amendments, the voting members of the Executive Committee serve as the Association’s Board of Trustees.


These procedures will be voted on by the membership.

From One to Four

Two weeks ago on this blog, yours truly noted the head and plaque dedicated to filmmaker Dorothy Arzner in Melnitz. See As it happens, the UCLA Newsroom last week highlighted Arzner and three other women in an article which we reproduce below:

Four extraordinary women who helped shape UCLA

These pioneering faculty women, famous in their time, are mostly forgotten today

Dorothy Arzner
Hulton Archive/Getty Images

A library collection, a garden, a building and a clinic. These bear the names of four extraordinary women who joined UCLA during its first 50 years. All four were famous in their time. Yet today they are mostly forgotten, little known on the campus where they worked and taught.

The filmmaker: Dorothy Arzner (ca. 1897–1979)

The first woman to join the Directors Guild of America, Dorothy Arzner was known for her resourcefulness and her ability to coax star performances from unknown actors. She also is often credited with the invention of the boom microphone, improvising with it as director of “The Wild Party” in 1929. She cast Rosalind Russell, Lucille Ball and Katharine Hepburn in breakout roles. And Arzner, with her short hair, tailored suits and a distinct lack of makeup, was unafraid of the “butch” label.

In a Hollywood career that stretched from 1919 to 1943, Arzner is credited by name as director of 16 features, most famously “Christopher Strong.” She also wrote scripts and edited. Film professor Nancy Richardson calls her “an incredibly fearless individual” and says she admires Arzner’s “full-bodied, amazingly drawn, complicated female characters.” It was as a UCLA film student herself that Richardson learned about Arzner, but she never knew about the director’s connection to UCLA.

“I think in general there is a lot of forgetting about women,” Richardson says. The films “Hidden Figures” (about black female mathematicians at NASA) and “Be Natural” (about French filmmaker Alice Guy-Blaché) are recent examples of setting the record straight.

Arzner’s connection to UCLA began in 1959 or 1960. Like her year of birth — variously reported as 1897, 1898 and 1900 — the years that Arzner taught at UCLA are difficult to verify. But the UCLA general catalog listed her as a lecturer every year from 1960-61 through 1964-65. Perhaps her lack of academic credentials — she never finished college — kept her from promotion to assistant professor.

We also know that Arzner’s students included a promising young filmmaker named Francis Ford Coppola. When Paramount named a building in Arzner’s honor, Coppola recalled Arzner’s feeding him crackers and encouragement. She told him: “You’ll make it, I know. I’ve been around,” he told reporters.

The Dorothy Arzner papers, which are held by the UCLA Library, are a treasure trove for film and LGBTQ scholars. Judith Mayne’s “Directed by Dorothy Arzner” incorporates 42 still photos and newspaper clippings from the library’s collection. In 2015, the UCLA Film & Television Archive celebrated Arzner’s legacy with a major retrospective.

The plant lover: Mildred Mathias (1906–1995)

Every campus map bears the name of Mildred Mathias. UCLA’s botanical garden was named in her honor in 1979. But the scope of her work stretches far beyond the garden she directed for almost 20 years.

An expert on plant taxonomy, Mathias changed landscape gardening in Southern California by introducing subtropical plants that would thrive in coastal and desert Southern California. A pioneer in ethnopharmacology, she made expeditions to Amazonian Peru and Ecuador, Tanganyika and Zanzibar, where she learned about drug plants from native herbalists and healers.

She was a pioneer in conservation efforts as well, credited with saving Santa Cruz Island and playing a key role in the founding of the University of California Natural Reserve System. Long before the term ecotourism was invented, Mathias was leading UCLA Extension groups off the beaten track to learn about and experience nature in more than 30 countries, including Chile, Costa Rica and the Peruvian Amazon.

UCLA alumnus and donor Morton La Kretz remembers taking a group trip to Costa Rica escorted by Mathias. In 2013 and 2014, he donated $6 million to the renovation of the botanical garden, where he once took water samples as a student. In explaining his generosity to the garden, La Kretz spoke of the importance of conservation, plant diversity and protecting the environment for future generations, calling the garden “a great asset.”

Mildred Mathias earned her Ph.D. in 1929 and became a fellow of the prestigious American Association for the Advancement of Science in 1931. While she continued her research, she did take years off to travel and to raise a family with her physics professor spouse. When she came to work at UCLA in 1947, she held a staff position as an herbarium botanist. In 1951, she became a lecturer; four years later, an assistant professor. In 1956, Mathias was appointed director of the Botanical Garden and served in that role until her retirement in 1974.

A bronze plaque near the garden notes Mathias’ “remarkable legacy of horticultural, botanical and conservation achievement and a wide trail of friendships around the world.” The garden pavilion includes an exhibit about Mathias, and the garden’s website offers an extensive biography, photos and a video.

The Shakespearean: Lily Bess Campbell (1883–1967)

In his oral history, UCLA Chancellor Vern Knudsen talks about Lily Bess Campbell’s prestige: “Whenever I referred to our English department at UCLA in conversations with English scholars in Europe as well as at American universities, they’d say, ‘Well, that’s where Lily Campbell is.’”

Yet when Campbell came to UCLA in 1922, she was classified as an “instructor,” the lowest rung on the academic ladder. In 1923, the Cambridge University Press published her dissertation as “Scenes and Machines on the English Stage during the Renaissance,” establishing her expertise in Elizabethan drama. In 1924, she was promoted to assistant professor.

Campbell must have been dismayed by the meager library at UCLA’s Vermont Avenue campus. The year she arrived, students held a fundraiser to buy the library its first copy of the Oxford English Dictionary. But Campbell soon discovered that the Huntington Library in San Marino had the books and manuscripts she needed for her research. Weekly trips to the Huntington followed, and in 1930 Campbell published Shakespeare’s “Tragic Heroes: Slaves of Passion.” The book radically altered modern thinking about Shakespeare’s tragedies. Campbell was promoted to full professor in 1931. Her 1947 “Shakespeare’s Histories: Mirrors of Elizabethan Policy” was just as influential.

Distinguished Professor of English Robert Watson works in the department that Campbell did so much to build, and he knows “Shakespeare’s Tragic Heroes.” But even after 30 years at UCLA, he didn’t realize that UCLA’s Campbell Hall was named in her honor.

Perhaps Campbell would be pleased to know that both the University of Chicago, where she earned her Ph.D., and UCLA, where she taught from 1922 to 1950, are today considered “Top 10” English programs. “The literary canon is far more diverse today than it was when Campbell taught,” Watson says. “But UCLA still has excellent Shakespeare scholars and teachers. They explore the religious and legal contexts of Elizabethan society as well as issues of race, gender and sexuality, and sometimes use new computer-aided techniques to reveal significant language patterns in the plays.”

Among Campbell’s students was future choreographer Agnes de Mille, who earned an English degree in 1926. De Mille biographer Carol Easton describes a “love affair of the mind and spirit” between de Mille and Campbell. Under Campbell’s influence, de Mille became more independent of her mother. Campbell’s only novel, “These Are My Jewels,” published in 1929, is the story of a mother who smothers her children with love and guilt.

In 1935, Campbell was the first woman selected to deliver the UCLA Faculty Research Lecture. More than 50 years would pass before historian Joyce Appleby became the second woman so honored. In 1951, just after her retirement, Campbell was selected as a Guggenheim Fellow.

Campbell’s papers, like Arzner’s, are in the special collections of the UCLA Library. As with Mathias, Campbell’s name appears on campus maps. But even in the English department, she is largely forgotten.

The clinical psychologist: Grace Maxwell Fernald (1879–1950)

A profile in the 1921 Cub Californian called her a “famous psychologist,” then proceeded to chronicle the accomplishments of her father and four brothers. A 1948 story in Time magazine championed her work, but referred to her as “kindly, frowzy Grace Fernald.”

It’s difficult to read about Grace Maxwell Fernald without concluding that her career suffered from gender bias. Like Lily Bess Campbell, Fernald earned a Ph.D. from the University of Chicago. Like Mildred Mathias, she was elected to the American Association for the Advancement of Science — in 1935, when fewer than 10 percent of newly elected fellows were female. But her climb up the academic ladder was painfully slow.

When Fernald began her career at the Los Angeles State Normal School, she was the only faculty member listed for psychology. In 1918, a year before the Normal School became a University of California campus, she became an assistant professor in a department known as Education, Psychology, and Sociology. Her two fellow psychologists were both female, both classed as instructors. In 1920, Fernald became an associate professor, and the next year she founded the first clinic school in the U.S. for children and adults with learning disabilities.

In 1924, Shepherd Ivory Franz came to UCLA as a full professor and the first chair of the department of psychology. The other four faculty members were female, and campus publications joked about Franz and his “harem.” Fernald waited 20 years for promotion from associate professor to full professor. During those 20 years and afterward, her clinic taught hundreds of elementary school students how to read. Her book “Remedial Techniques in Basic School Subjects,” published in 1943, has been reprinted countless times.

Decades later, Jack Barchas wrote a heartfelt remembrance of Fernald’s impact on his life. He had always wanted to be a doctor, but his second-grade teacher told his father it was impossible because he couldn’t learn to read. His parents took him to Fernald.

Her approach — the root of what is now called the multisensory technique — involved dictating stories, seeing the words printed on big cards, tracing the words in the air, and reading them aloud. Eventually, Barchas became an avid reader. He did become a doctor and the dean for neuroscience and research at the UCLA medical school.

“I did not know her as a leader in her field,” Barchas wrote. “Rather, I knew Dr. Fernald as a teacher who clearly loved helping children who had problems, and who — with my two remarkable parents — made possible for me the future I dreamed of.”

Psychology professor Howard Adelman is well acquainted with Fernald’s work, and he talks about it to students in his Psych 132A class, “Learning Problems, Schooling Problems.” He admits that few of his colleagues in the psychology department have heard of Fernald. “But her techniques are widely used all over the world,” he says. “Her book is considered a classic.” One reason Fernald is better known around the world than on campus is that her work is “more education than psychology,” he says.

The UCLA psychology department’s Fernald Child Study Center still bears the name of the pioneering researcher, and child development remains an important research focus for the university’s psychology professors today.

UCLA today

UCLA has seen many changes since Arzner, Mathias, Campbell and Fernald taught here. The Theater Arts Department is now the School of Theater, Film and Television. Botany and Zoology were replaced by the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. Psychology and English are still departments in the College of Letters and Science.

A bigger change is the ratio of female faculty. The department of Film, Television and Digital Media is 40.1 percent female. Ecology and Evolutionary Biology is 35.3 percent female. English is 46.6 percent female. Psychology is 51.5 percent female. So women are no longer the exception. Perhaps that’s what’s important to remember.

Follow Up on Bad News for Berkeley; Bad Writing for Forbes

We had earlier noted, using info from a Forbes article, that Berkeley was unranked by US News because it misreported something about alumni giving. However, the Forbes article contained an incomprehensible sentence concerning what the Berkeley sin actually was.*

Now we have a clearer explanation from SFGATE:

"The University of California—Berkeley originally reported that its two-year average alumni giving rate for fiscal years 2017 and 2016 was 11.6%. Recently the school said that its correct average alumni giving rate for just fiscal year 2016 was 7.9%," U.S. News wrote in a press release. "The University of California—Berkeley also told U.S. News that it incorrectly included pledges in the alumni giving data provided to U.S. News since at least 2014. This doesn't follow the U.S. News definition, which is based on federal government and industry standards that clearly state only tax-deductible gifts should be included, excluding pledges that don't qualify for an IRS charitable deduction. This means that UC-Berkeley has greatly overstated its alumni giving data to U.S. News annually since 2014."

Sunday, July 28, 2019

Just Asking: Where's Jerry?

It was announced in June that former governor Jerry Brown would be joining the UC-Berkeley faculty as a visiting professor in July. But if he has, he isn't listed in the UC-Berkeley online directory as of today. July runs out on Wednesday.

He is supposed to become director of the California-China Climate Policy Institute, according to an item that appeared over a month ago in the Sacramento Bee.* But when you search for that program on the Berkeley website, it appears as a link that can only be accessed with a password. (See below.)


Jerry Brown’s new gig: Launching a California-China climate change institute at UC Berkeley

Sophia Bollag, June 12, 2019, Capitol Alert of Sacramento Bee

Even in retirement, Jerry Brown is still trying to save the world.

In his second stint as California governor, Brown warned repeatedly that climate change threatened human existence and stressed the importance of reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

“We are talking about extinction,” he said during a climate change conference in Vatican City in 2015. “We’re not there yet, but we’re on our way.”

In July, Brown will leave his retirement to join UC Berkeley in helping launch the California-China Climate Policy Institute. He’ll also serve as a visiting professor, according to an email sent to Berkeley staff obtained by The Bee.

The former governor will be California director of the new institute, according to the email. Brown will spend three years as a visiting professor at U.C. Berkeley’s College of Natural Resources and Berkeley Law School. His main role will be to help run the institute.

Brown announced that California and Tsinghua University would establish the institute during a 2017 trip to China, Reuters reported at the time. The institute’s goal will be for California and China to research technology to combat global warming, Reuters reported.

While in office, Brown sought to make California a global leader on fighting climate change, including with his 2017 trip to China. Brown has called China the world’s “great hope” on on climate change in the wake of U.S. President Donald Trump’s rollback of environmental agreements and policies undertaken by his predecessor Barack Obama.

A spokesman for Brown declined to comment about the institute specifically, but provided a general statement.

“At a time of increasing tension between the United States and China, it’s imperative to foster serious and fruitful collaboration on climate change,” Brown said in the statement. “This is the defining issue facing our two countries and I intend to continue working with China to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement — and beyond.”
There was even a Sacramento Bee cartoon that went with this appointment:

Telescope - The View from Afar - Part 3

It's not clear where all this is going. Today's summary below:
(4 items)

Astronomers lament lost observation time, risk to Maunakea telescopes

Hawaii Tribune-Herald, 7-28-19

For nearly two weeks, no staff of the Maunakea Observatories have been able to access the telescopes at the mountain’s summit, save at the discretion of demonstrators occupying Maunakea Access Road.

The lack of access has put the observatories under significant strain.

“Basically, we’ve done zero observations since (July 16),” John O’Meara, chief scientist at W. M. Keck Observatory, said on Friday.

On July 16, the second day of the protests against the Thirty Meter Telescope project, the heads of the 12 observatories at the summit jointly chose to remove all staff at the summit out of concern for their safety. Since then, only a handful of technicians has been allowed up the road.

The telescopes on the summit will not be operated so long as access is blocked by protesters, for fear of a critical system failing without anybody on-site to fix it. While many of the telescopes can be remotely operated, they require personnel to access the site quickly to prevent potential damage to the instruments.

One such failure occurred last week at Gemini Observatory. Associate Director Andrew Adamson said several extremely sensitive detectors relied on a liquid helium cooling circuit to keep them at optimal temperatures...

Full story at

UCSB students respond to Chancellor's role in controversial telescope project

KEYT, 7-27-19

Students at UC Santa Barbara are speaking out as university Chancellor Henry Yang sits on the board of a controversial telescope project in Hawaii.

Thousands of protestors on Hawaii’s Big Island are blocking a road to the top of the state’s tallest mountain in order to prevent the massive Thirty Meter Telescope project from being built on what some call sacred land.

The project has been in development for more than a decade, but some Native Hawaiians believe the project being built atop Mauna Kea would desecrate a sacred space. Protestors are currently blocking construction crews from reaching the building site.

Supporters say the telescope will bring high-paying jobs and a better understanding of the universe.

Yang sits on Thirty Meter Telescope's board, along with two other UC staff members...

Full story at

Letter to Governor:


TMT Not Backing Down, Supporters Unwavering

Big Island Video News, 7-27-19

...TMT supporters have responded by rallying behind the project. A sign waving in Hilo on Thursday drew roughly 100 people.

Laurie Chu, a Ph.D. candidate at the UH Mānoa Institute For Astronomy, said the event was organized in 24 hours.

“We took inspiration from the simultaneously organized Honolulu rally,” Chu said, “and it was the best way to take our stance and make our voices heard on the Big Island, and to encourage others to show their support. Some seemed so thrilled to have an outlet that they drove from as far as Waimea or Kailua-Kona, after hearing about it only hours before the event.”

“Many of us have felt silenced via social media,” Chu said, “afraid to speak up due to some threats and racism so this was a direct response that we have a voice too and that we care about the future Hawaii all of us will live in, as both native and non-native Hawaiians.”

Supporters have also been encouraging others to call key elected officials to ask them to stand behind the project.

Gordon Squires, vice president of external relations for TMT, told Hawaii News Now that, by chance, the regularly scheduled TMT International Observatory board meeting was held this week. The board reaffirmed that Mauna Kea is the preferred site, he said. The alternate site remains in La Palma, on the Canary Islands.

“The vast majority of folks in Hawaii are asking us to stay, we’re committed to do so,” he told Hawaii News Now. “It is urgent. Its important for us to get started as soon as possible.”

TMT also wrote about the situation on its website.

“I think it’s fair to say that what is happening today in Hawaii isn’t just about the construction of TMT on Maunakea,” wrote Christophe Dumas, TMT Observatory Scientist and Head of Operations, in an article published on the TMT website on July 23. “Among those who remain opposed to the project are many who see TMT as an icon for what they believe is the wrong side in the much larger political issue of Hawaiian sovereignty. We respect those who express opposition and understand the pain they feel. However, TMT is a bystander in that conversation, which has been going on for many years. And whether or not TMT is built in Hawaii will not bring closure to it.”

“Although it may not appear this way at the moment given what is being shared and seen in social media, the majority of Native Hawaiians actually support the construction of TMT on Maunakea: An independent poll conducted by the Honolulu Star-Advertiser in 2018 found that 72 percent of Native Hawaiians (registered voters) support TMT, 23 percent oppose it and 5% were undecided,” Dumas wrote. “Similarly, many Native Hawaiians and others believe that Maunakea is sacred and yet can still be home to astronomy. A statewide poll conducted in 2018 found that 88 percent of Hawaii residents agree there should be a way for science and Hawaiian culture to co-exist on Maunakea.”

Saturday, July 27, 2019

Bad News for Berkeley; Bad Writing for Forbes

From Forbes (a source which apparently needs to do some proofing): 

Yesterday, US News & World Report released a statement titled “Updates to 5 Schools' 2019 Best Colleges Rankings Data.” In the statement, they announced that five schools had been removed from the 2019 edition of the US News Best Colleges rankings, most notably UC Berkeley. 
According to US News, during the data collection period for the upcoming 2020 rankings, UC Berkeley notified US News that they had been misreporting data since at least 2014 by including pledges in their alumni giving a percentage (instead of only actual, tax-deductible donations). 
Wait! Before we go on, does anyone know what the sentence above means? "including pledges in their alumni giving a percentage (instead of only actual, tax-deductible donations)"
In response, US News removed them from their Best Colleges rankings, listing them as “Unranked” in their profile. The overall rankings are unchanged, meaning the #2 spot of “Top Public Schools” is currently empty.
This is terrible timing for the school’s reputation, even though, as alumni giving only accounts for 5% of the ranking, it’s unclear how much this misreporting would have altered UC Berkeley’s historical rankings. The school had long been the highest-ranked public university on the list, with UCLA in a close second, but when the 2019 rankings were announced, UCLA came in first for the first time (though Berkeley was quick to point out that it had “maintained its numerical score from last year”). Now, not only is Berkeley unlikely to raise its score enough to top the 2020 rankings, but its prior rankings may be called into question (despite alumni giving rates being a relatively minor part of the equation)...

Telescope - The View from Afar - Part 2

As it happens - or maybe it's not a coincidence - the UCLA Newsroom this week features a piece, reproduced below, on work related to one of the existing Hawaiian telescopes.
Einstein’s general relativity theory is questioned but still stands ‘for now,’ team reports

Detailed UCLA-led analysis of a star’s orbit near supermassive black hole gives a look into how gravity behaves

July 25, 2019, UCLA Newsroom

A star known as S0-2 (the blue and green object in this artist’s rendering) made its closest approach to the supermassive black hole at the center of the Milky Way in 2018.

More than 100 years after Albert Einstein published his iconic general theory of relativity, it is beginning to fray at the edges, said Andrea Ghez, UCLA professor of physics and astronomy. Now, in the most comprehensive test of general relativity near the monstrous black hole at the center of our galaxy, Ghez and her research team report July 25 in the journal Science that Einstein’s theory holds up.

“Einstein’s right, at least for now,” said Ghez, a co-lead author of the research. “We can absolutely rule out Newton’s law of gravity. Our observations are consistent with Einstein’s general theory of relativity. However, his theory is definitely showing vulnerability. It cannot fully explain gravity inside a black hole, and at some point we will need to move beyond Einstein’s theory to a more comprehensive theory of gravity that explains what a black hole is.”

Einstein’s 1915 general theory of relativity holds that what we perceive as the force of gravity arises from the curvature of space and time. The scientist proposed that objects such as the sun and the Earth change this geometry. Einstein’s theory is the best description of how gravity works, said Ghez, whose UCLA-led team of astronomers has made direct measurements of the phenomenon near a supermassive black hole — research Ghez describes as “extreme astrophysics.”

The laws of physics, including gravity, should be valid everywhere in the universe, said Ghez, who added that her research team is one of only two groups in the world to watch a star known as S0-2 make a complete orbit in three dimensions around the supermassive black hole at the center of the Milky Way. The full orbit takes 16 years, and the black hole’s mass is about 4 million times that of the sun.

The researchers say their work is the most detailed study ever conducted into the supermassive black hole and Einstein’s general theory of relativity.

The key data in the research were spectra that Ghez’s team analyzed last April, May and September as her “favorite star” made its closest approach to the enormous black hole. Spectra, which Ghez described as the “rainbow of light” from stars, show the intensity of light and offer important information about the star from which the light travels. Spectra also show the composition of the star. These data were combined with measurements Ghez and her team have made over the last 24 years.

Spectra — collected at the W.M. Keck Observatory in Hawaii using a spectrograph built at UCLA by a team led by colleague James Larkin — provide the third dimension, revealing the star’s motion at a level of precision not previously attained. (Images of the star the researchers took at the Keck Observatory provide the two other dimensions.) Larkin’s instrument takes light from a star and disperses it, similar to the way raindrops disperse light from the sun to create a rainbow, Ghez said.

“What’s so special about S0-2 is we have its complete orbit in three dimensions,” said Ghez, who holds the Lauren B. Leichtman and Arthur E. Levine Chair in Astrophysics. “That’s what gives us the entry ticket into the tests of general relativity. We asked how gravity behaves near a supermassive black hole and whether Einstein’s theory is telling us the full story. Seeing stars go through their complete orbit provides the first opportunity to test fundamental physics using the motions of these stars.”

Ghez’s research team was able to see the co-mingling of space and time near the supermassive black hole. “In Newton’s version of gravity, space and time are separate, and do not co-mingle; under Einstein, they get completely co-mingled near a black hole,” she said.

“Making a measurement of such fundamental importance has required years of patient observing, enabled by state-of-the-art technology,” said Richard Green, director of the National Science Foundation’s division of astronomical sciences. For more than two decades, the division has supported Ghez, along with several of the technical elements critical to the research team’s discovery. “Through their rigorous efforts, Ghez and her collaborators have produced a high-significance validation of Einstein’s idea about strong gravity.”

Keck Observatory Director Hilton Lewis called Ghez “one of our most passionate and tenacious Keck users.” “Her latest groundbreaking research,” he said, “is the culmination of unwavering commitment over the past two decades to unlock the mysteries of the supermassive black hole at the center of our Milky Way galaxy.”

The researchers studied photons — particles of light — as they traveled from S0-2 to Earth. S0-2 moves around the black hole at blistering speeds of more than 16 million miles per hour at its closest approach. Einstein had reported that in this region close to the black hole, photons have to do extra work. Their wavelength as they leave the star depends not only on how fast the star is moving, but also on how much energy the photons expend to escape the black hole’s powerful gravitational field. Near a black hole, gravity is much stronger than on Earth.

Ghez was given the opportunity to present partial data last summer, but chose not to so that her team could thoroughly analyze the data first. “We’re learning how gravity works. It’s one of four fundamental forces and the one we have tested the least,” she said. “There are many regions where we just haven’t asked, how does gravity work here? It’s easy to be overconfident and there are many ways to misinterpret the data, many ways that small errors can accumulate into significant mistakes, which is why we did not rush our analysis.”

Ghez, a 2008 recipient of the MacArthur “Genius” Fellowship, studies more than 3,000 stars that orbit the supermassive black hole. Hundreds of them are young, she said, in a region where astronomers did not expect to see them.

It takes 26,000 years for the photons from S0-2 to reach Earth. “We’re so excited, and have been preparing for years to make these measurements,” said Ghez, who directs the UCLA Galactic Center Group. “For us, it’s visceral, it’s now — but it actually happened 26,000 years ago!”

This is the first of many tests of general relativity Ghez’s research team will conduct on stars near the supermassive black hole. Among the stars that most interest her is S0-102, which has the shortest orbit, taking 11 1/2 years to complete a full orbit around the black hole. Most of the stars Ghez studies have orbits of much longer than a human lifespan.

Ghez’s team took measurements about every four nights during crucial periods in 2018 using the Keck Observatory — which sits atop Hawaii’s dormant Mauna Kea volcano and houses one of the world’s largest and premier optical and infrared telescopes. Measurements are also taken with an optical-infrared telescope at Gemini Observatory and Subaru Telescope, also in Hawaii. She and her team have used these telescopes both on site in Hawaii and remotely from an observation room in UCLA’s department of physics and astronomy.

Black holes have such high density that nothing can escape their gravitational pull, not even light. (They cannot be seen directly, but their influence on nearby stars is visible and provides a signature. Once something crosses the “event horizon” of a black hole, it will not be able to escape. However, the star S0-2 is still rather far from the event horizon, even at its closest approach, so its photons do not get pulled in.)

Lasers from the two Keck telescopes point in the direction of the center of our galaxy. Each laser creates an “artificial star” that astronomers can use to correct for the blurring caused by the Earth’s atmosphere.
Ghez’s co-authors include Tuan Do, lead author of the Science paper, a UCLA research scientist and deputy director of the UCLA Galactic Center Group; Aurelien Hees, a former UCLA postdoctoral scholar, now a researcher at the Paris Observatory; Mark Morris, UCLA professor of physics and astronomy; Eric Becklin, UCLA professor emeritus of physics and astronomy; Smadar Naoz, UCLA assistant professor of physics and astronomy; Jessica Lu, a former UCLA graduate student who is now a UC Berkeley assistant professor of astronomy; UCLA graduate student Devin Chu; Greg Martinez, UCLA project scientist; Shoko Sakai, a UCLA research scientist; Shogo Nishiyama, associate professor with Japan’s Miyagi University of Education; and Rainer Schoedel, a researcher with Spain’s Instituto de Astrofısica de Andalucıa.

The National Science Foundation has funded Ghez’s research for the last 25 years. More recently, her research has also been supported by the W.M. Keck Foundation, the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation and the Heising-Simons Foundation; as well as Lauren Leichtman and Arthur Levine, and Howard and Astrid Preston.

In 1998, Ghez answered one of astronomy’s most important questions, helping to show that a supermassive black hole resides at the center of our Milky Way galaxy. The question had been a subject of much debate among astronomers for more than a quarter of a century.

A powerful technology that Ghez helped to pioneer, called adaptive optics, corrects the distorting effects of the Earth’s atmosphere in real time. With adaptive optics at Keck Observatory, Ghez and her colleagues have revealed many surprises about the environments surrounding supermassive black holes. For example, they discovered young stars where none was expected to be seen and a lack of old stars where many were anticipated. It’s unclear whether S0-2 is young or just masquerading as a young star, Ghez said.

In 2000, she and colleagues reported that for the first time, astronomers had seen stars accelerate around the supermassive black hole. In 2003, Ghez reported that the case for the Milky Way’s black hole had been strengthened substantially and that all of the proposed alternatives could be excluded.

In 2005, Ghez and her colleagues took the first clear picture of the center of the Milky Way, including the area surrounding the black hole, at Keck Observatory. And in 2017, Ghez’s research team reported that S0-2 does not have a companion star, solving another mystery.


Friday, July 26, 2019

Telescope: The View from Afar

Below is a set of links on the latest Hawaiian telescope news, reproduced from today's UC Daily News Clips:

Backers of Hawaii telescope tout benefits to humanity, jobs
(Associated Press) Audrey McAvoy
A giant telescope planned for Hawaii's tallest mountain will enhance humanity's knowledge of the universe and bring quality, high-paying jobs, supporters said Thursday, as protesters blocked construction for a second week.
But supporters also are impassioned about why they believe the telescope belongs on Mauna Kea, which has the best conditions for viewing the night sky in the Northern Hemisphere.
The telescope is expected to allow astronomers to peer back some 13 billion years in time to shortly after the Big Bang. It's expected to help astronomers determine whether life exists on planets outside the solar system and better understand fundamental concepts like gravity.
Related coverage:
Dozens of TMT supporters turn out for rally
(Hawaii Tribune-Herald) Stephanie Salmons
Telescope opponents reject reported deal, but Mayor Kim says there was no offer
(Honolulu Star-Advertiser) Kevin Dayton
Growing anti-TMT petition delivered to California foundation helping fund telescope
(Honolulu Star-Advertiser) Nina Wu
UPDATED: Kim clarifies that he lacks authority to intervene in TMT process
(Hawaii Tribune-Herald) Michael Brestovansky
Hawaii Island Mayor Clarifies Role in TMT Dispute 
(Hawaii Public Radio) Ryan Finnerty
Opponents of the Thirty Meter Telescope fight the process, not science
(Nature) Rosie Alegado
Hawaii Protest: Native Hawaiians in Palo Alto peacefully protest, show respect to group funding Thirty Meter Telescope (VIDEO)
(ABC7 San Francisco)